WSJ Outlines Biden Admin’s Backdoor Climate Agenda

The Wall Street Journal published an editorial March 18 discussing the Biden administration’s “backdoor” plan to advance climate regulations. As the editorial outlines, it appears that the Biden EPA plans to use the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) to move forward with climate regulations in order to avoid the political costs of voting on any such regulations in congress. 

Some history

In Massachusetts v. EPA (2007) the Supreme Court ruled that the law’s general definition of the term “pollutant” covered greenhouse gases, but the Court didn’t tell the EPA how to regulate carbon dioxide under the law. This set the stage for the Obama EPA’s endangerment finding, which declared greenhouse gases a threat to public health and welfare. 

In the wake of the endangerment finding, green groups pressured the Obama EPA to include carbon dioxide as a criteria pollutant and to set National Air Ambient Quality Standards for it. Because carbon dioxide doesn’t produce any direct negative effects on public health, Obama EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson advised against the idea of regulating it as a criteria pollutant. Instead, the Obama EPA used its Clean Power Plan to try to force states to reduce emissions from power plants. However, the Clean Power Plan was eventually blocked by the Supreme Court. 

The New Plan

The climate lobby now appears to have a scheme underway by which it will use a replacement ozone rule to regulate carbon dioxide. The Biden administration has tapped Joe Goffman, a former Obama EPA official, to oversee NAAQS as principal deputy assistant administrator of the Office of Air and Radiation. As the Wall Street Journal’s editorial explains:

“Emails obtained by Chris Horner at Energy Policy Advocates, which were shared with us, show Democratic AGs in 2019 consulted Mr. Goffman, then at Harvard Law School, on using the NAAQS to regulate CO2. Mr. Goffman connected the AGs to former EPA officials and environmental attorneys. As his new EPA profile slyly explains, Mr. Goffman at Harvard ‘led a team of attorneys and communications specialists providing information and analysis to stakeholders, government decision-makers and the media.’

Consultants referred by Mr. Goffman told the AGs that regulating CO2 as a criteria pollutant wouldn’t fly. But they proposed using ozone NAAQS as what one called a ‘backdoor.’ Fossil fuel combustion, motor vehicle exhaust and industrial emissions contribute to ozone. So the EPA could make states reduce CO2 emissions by tightening ozone standards. States might have to outlaw natural gas-powered appliances, gas stations and internal combustion engines to meet stricter ozone standards.”

On January 19th, sixteen Democratic AGs challenged the EPA’s current ozone NAAQS in a one paragraph lawsuit that says the current standards are “unlawful, arbitrary and capricious and therefore must be vacated.” With Joe Goffman now in place in Biden’s EPA, it appears their goal is to construct a replacement ozone rule that would provide de facto regulation of carbon dioxide emissions. 

In short, it appears as though Democratic AGs, green groups, and a top EPA official are working in unison to impose the Green New Deal on states through the backdoor because, as the Wall Street Journal puts it, “they know they can’t pass it through the front in Congress.”

Speak Your Mind


Anonymous says:
Your email has been received. Thank you for signing up.